Puget Sound Crab Decision a Victory for Recreational Crabbers

Posted on October 01, 2010

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission voted to bring more fairness to the Puget Sound Dungeness fishery by adopting "Option A" for its new Puget Sound Crab policy. This long overdue policy change rightfully recognizes the importance of recreational crabbing in Puget Sound and provides a SIGNIFICANT increase in fishing opportunity for Puget Sound crabbers. The commission's decision increases equity in the crab allocation and is a victory for recreational crabbers.

This is a huge milestone for the recreational angling community and the citizens of Washington State. The new policy adopted by the Commission will provide a summer recreational season from July 1st to Labor Day open 5 days a week - including both weekend days.  It will also provide a October - December winter recreational season open 7 days a week.  Both seasons will employ a 5 crab daily bag limit.  These changes are expected to increase the recreational share of Puget Sound crab harvests and will accommodate increases in recreational participation in the crab fishery in future years.
This was a hard fought battle with commercial interests lobbying hard against even a modest shift of a relatively small portion of the state crab harvest to recreational crabbers.  Thanks to You – the members of CCA – and our partners, this meaningful change in recreational opportunity was possible. Through our membership and the active involvement of CCA leadership we were able to focus the Commission on the facts rather than the same old tired arguments. Through our Action Alert, CCA members sent hundreds of e-mails to the Commission allowing them to hear directly from us. Our members also made their voices heard when public comment on this issue was taken by the Commission in Olympia.  We also enjoyed positive media coverage of this issue and our efforts.
This is not our victory alone though. We worked with several other groups and many individuals, all of whom played a critical role in this victory.  We also enjoyed the support of elected officials, including 10 legislators who recently wrote a letter to the Commission in support of the change.  Finally, a large majority of the Commission took a strong and courageous stand for fairness in the face of profanity and other intimidation tactics.    
This is a great example of working together, focusing on the facts and carrying out a strategic plan to achieve a great outcome for recreational anglers. A sign of great things to come!  
About CCA:   Coastal Conservation Association is a non-profit organization comprised of 200 chapters in 17 coastal states spanning the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic and Pacific coasts. In 2007, CCA expanded into the Pacific Northwest and the organization has quickly grown to more than 9,000 members and continues to launch chapters in both Oregon and Washington. As the largest marine conservation organization in the country, CCA’s strength is drawn from the tens of thousands of recreational anglers who make up its membership. Across the country, CCA’s grassroots influence is felt through state capitals, U.S. Congress and, most importantly, in the conservation and restoration of our marine resources.
CONTACT: Bryan Irwin, 877-255-8772